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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 20, 2014

Former Caregiver Pleads Guilty To Criminal Abuse Of A Vulnerable AdultDefendant Struck And Dragged Woman With Cognitive Disabilities

     WASHINGTON - A former direct care giver, Sherifat Kofo Yusuff, has pled guilty to criminal abuse of a 50-year-old vulnerable adult, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. and District of Columbia Interim Inspector General Blanche L. Bruce announced today.

     Yusuff, 53, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty on Oct. 16, 2014, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to one count of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult.  The Honorable Senior Judge Susan R. Winfield sentenced Yusuff to 30 days in jail. The judge suspended the time on the condition that Yusuff successfully completes six months of probation.

     According to the government’s evidence, on Feb. 19, 2014, Yusuff worked for Marjul Homes, Inc. (Marjul), which operated a residential group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. Yusuff was a direct support professional with responsibility for caring for vulnerable adults diagnosed with severe developmental and cognitive disabilities. On that day, she transported and accompanied one of the adults to MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, where the woman was scheduled to undergo a sleep study.

     Shortly after medical staff placed electrodes and sensors on the vulnerable adult, the woman became agitated and attempted to remove those items from her body.  Yusuff admitted that she became frustrated with this behavior, struck the woman with an open hand, and dragged her across the floor. These actions were captured on a camera used for the sleep study, and the video was subsequently used by law enforcement in its investigation of the case.

     In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Interim Inspector General Bruce praised the work of former Investigator Tracey Chambers, of the Office of the Inspector General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Schurmann and Scott Ray, who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Wolfingbarger of the MFCU, who jointly prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 19, 2015